Punjab’s CM denied ‘siropa’ at Golden Temple


Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had to face an embarrassing moment at the Golden Temple when an “ardasia” (ardas sevadar) refused to present a “siropa” (robe of honour) to him.Another “ardasia” too left the spot saying that his duty hours were over. Following the incident, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar transferred both of them.Badal accompanied by senior SGPC officials reached the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Golden Temple this morning. As he paid obeisance, the SGPC officials, including the Golden Temple manager, signalled “ardasia” Balbir Singh to honor the CM with a “siropa”, but he overlooked them.Earlier, Gurcharan Singh was deputed to present a “siropa” to the CM, but by the time Badal arrived, he had left after his duty hours were over.Consequently, the CM had to leave without getting a “siropa”. It is learnt that to cover up the embarrassment, the SGPC officials arranged a “siropa” for the CM when the latter went to pay obeisance at Akal Takht.Balbir Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Sources said the reason behind their behaviour was the government’s failure to curb incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib.Earlier also, Balbir Singh had denied a “siropa” to Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal during his visit to the Golden Temple on January 20. The issue was resolved instantly when another sewadar was roped in to present the robe of honour to the Deputy CM.In his explanation then, he had stated that whatever happened to several “birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib was much worse and nothing was done to stop the incidents.Confirming the instance, Diljit Singh Bedi, additional secretary, SGPC, said taking cognisance of the matter, the SGPC president had transferred Balbir Singh to Machhiwara and Gurcharan Singh to Sangrur.Makkar has also ordered an inquiry into the episode.

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